December 11th, 2009

united: my ground is prettier than yours

Don't think there's many Hammers round here, but this is really sad.

West Ham striker Dean Ashton retires because of injury

Dean Ashton

West Ham's former England striker Dean Ashton has announced his retirement at the age of 26 after failing to recover from a long-term ankle injury.

Ashton broke his left ankle while training with England in August 2006, ahead of a friendly with Greece.

He underwent several operations but was unable to return to full fitness and has followed medical advice to retire.

West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury told the club's website: "This is a sad day and our thoughts are with Dean."

Ashton scored 19 goals in 56 appearances for the Hammers after joining them from Norwich in a £7.25m move in January 2006.

The former Crewe striker earned an England call-up for the friendly with Greece in August 2006, but he broke his ankle in training for that game and missed the whole of the 2006-07 season.

He returned to play 35 games in 2007-08 and made his England debut under Fabio Capello in May 2008 when he faced Trinidad & Tobago.

Ashton signed a new five-year contract at Upton Park that summer but sprained his ankle in training September 2008 and did not play competitively again.

He made several attempts to return but concerns that continuing his career would affect his mobility later in life led him to decide to end his playing career.

Duxbury added: "I would like to place on record our thanks to him for all his efforts and wish him the very best.
"I would also like to thank the fans for their patience and understanding during what has been a difficult time."
Crewe manager Dario Gradi, who gave Ashton his professional debut at the age of 16, was not surprised by the announcement.

"We'd all seen it coming for a long time," Gradi said. "He's been injured for a while and I think that Dean was prepared for it.

"It's a shame for Dean but it's a great shame for England. They are crying out for a big striker and that is what he is.

"The saving grace for Dean is that he has had a bit of a career and will have made enough money not to have to work again."

Ashton's agent Darren Bossons declined to comment on reports that Ashton may look to take legal action against Shaun Wright-Phillips, who caused the striker's initial injury with a challenge during an England training session in August 2006.

And Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor hopes Ashton does not go down that route.

Taylor said: "I hope it doesn't come to that because nobody would think that Shaun Wright-Phillips was a malicious player at all.

"At the moment we've been speaking to his [Ashton's] representatives and the situation is about looking to get proper compensation without discussing any player-v-player action."

He's only 26, poor guy. :/

Also, unrelated, I really need to stop confusing West Ham and Aston Villa. It's even worse now Burnley are in the league! *is confused*

Kelly Smith: How I beat the drink and turned into England's best player

Kelly Smith will share a stage with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka later this month, hoping to be the first English footballer of any gender to win the FIFA World Player of the Year.

Those casting a vote for the women’s award know all about her stunning natural ability — the 45-yard goal against Russia in August and the drive of the half-fit 31-year-old to drag her country to the European Championship final.

What they won’t have known is the private battle to exorcise the demons of drink and depression she faced by returning earlier this year to the United States — the country that almost broke her just five years ago.

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from some 'newspaper'
Messi eating cookie
  • lkden

This is a much needed Turkish Lig post.

SO, I've noticed that there have been like 2 Turkish Lig posts since the inception of this community, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce the two biggest teams in Turkey and one of the most intense sport rivalries in the world: Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. They have the largest followings in the country and are the most successful Turkish teams in the European context, with Galatasaray having won the UEFA Cup over Arsenal in 2000. Fenerbahce became UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists in 2007/08 after beating Sevilla in the knockout round.

I'll keep it rather simple! Today is a spotlight on Fenerbahce and tomorrow, my team Galatasaray.
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Dirk Luis

Souness - Great player, cack pundit, even worse manager.

"I switch off the volume of Sky," Benitez joked to Sky Sports News. "I think they both have a fantastic record as a manager so the fans they know really well what they say.

Souness as a manager....

The three years which followed were uneventful for Souness and relatively disastrous for Liverpool. There was little success on the field, with only a 2-0 victory in the 1992 FA Cup final over Second Division Sunderland, but poor tactics, ill-judged transfer dealings and poor man management brought one of the bleakest spells in the history of one of Europe's most successful clubs of all time.

Souness then returned to England to manage Southampton, but after one season he resigned, citing differences with chairman Rupert Lowe. Probably his most memorable moment was signing Senegalese player Ali Dia, supposedly on the recommendation of former FIFA World Player of the Year and former Liberian striker George Weah. This proved to be a hoax, as when Ali Dia played his only game in the Premier League as a substitute for Matt Le Tissier, he performed amazingly poorly, and was later substituted himself.

STFU, twat.

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Love you Rafa.